Scripture: 1st Reading: Acts25,13-21; Resp. Psalm: Ps103,1-2,11-12,19-20; Gosp. Accl.: Jn14,26; Gospel: Jn21,15-19
We have the responsibility to present the gospel to those we meet. As responsible salesmen, we have the duty to make the gospel very attractive that those to whom we present it see it as indispensable for their lives. This is because many do not accept the gospel because they have no one to preach it to them; others do not accept the gospel because those who preach it do not package their products well; others refuse it because they are afraid of its demands and want to continue living the lives they have always known.
We can see in the first reading today the way the truths of the gospel may not just be misunderstood but even more importantly, reviled and mocked. The pagan Festus told king Agrippa and Bernice, his Jewish visitors that the Jews brought Paul to Felix before him and that the issue could not be resolved because it did not involve a case of wrongdoing or evil but about "their own superstition and about one Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive."
This is however the same truths that the Apostles used their entire lives to preach, defend, uphold and die for. These are the truths they loved until the last breath of their lives and preached to others with great passion and commitment. These are the truths about Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, who came to save mankind and had to die in order to fulfil His Father's will.
This was the truth our Lord asked Peter to affirm in today's gospel. Our Lord wanted to know if Peter really loved Him because of the great responsibility of leadership He had entrusted to Peter. Our Lord knew that no one could bear this burden if he had no genuine, authentic and burning love. Our Lord knew what awaited Peter and judging from the antecedent of Peter's denial of Him, wanted Peter to realize that the role to which he was being called was no mean task. It would request everything from Peter.
Peter understood what our Lord was asking of him and gave his unqualified answer to the triple demands of our Lord. Our Lord thereafter confirmed him in his role but told him he was going to make great sacrifices for the gospel, he was going to be directed by the hands of Another and be carried where he did not wish to go! In other words, he would have to forget his own will and instead do the will of Another. That would be the price for discipleship and leadership to which Peter was called.
We have been called too by the same Christ. We have been chosen and consecrated for a special mission by Him. We have the responsibility to take up our roles with courage, like Peter who though did not fully understand what the Master was asking of him, yet accdepted fully and lived by the consequences of his decisions. May the Lord make of us good sales people for the gospel. May Sts. Peter and Paul intercede for us.
Let us pray: "O God, who by the glorification of your Christ and the light of the Holy Spirit have unlocked for usvthe gates of eternity, grant, we pray, that partaking of so great a gift, our devotion may grow deeper and our faith be strengthened." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.